Red sprite over Mexico, ISS photograph

Red sprite over Mexico, ISS photograph

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Red sprite over Mexico. Astronaut photograph showing an orbital view of thunderstorms over the city lights of southern Mexico, with a cluster of bright red and purple streamers of a red sprite seen rising above a blue-white flash of lightning (right). Red sprites are very brief flashes of optical activity that are associated with powerful lightning. They are the result of electrical discharges that can extend as high as 90 kilometres into the atmosphere, with the brightest region usually around altitudes of 40-45 miles (65-75 km). Sprites don't last very long, around 3-10 milliseconds at most. Photographed from the International Space Station (ISS) on 10th August 2015.

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